I’m currently working on two Penarious Challenges (and munching some 85% Lindt extra dark chocolate. It’s stimulates the “think cells”, you know…) and have a host of blog ideas and food series to start, but the last few days have been tremendously busy. I’ve barely been able to keep up with e-mails, let alone post an entry. Busy is good. But I don’t like the “getting behind” feeling much. So, today is “ketch up” day, and in more than one way seeing one of my penarious challenges is to copy Heinz ketchup to the last tasty drop. Today, I hope to master the last batch. Wish me luck! It’s simmering as we speak. You won’t believe some of the things I’ve learned about ketchup, but I’ll save that for later.
My brother, John, has become a regular farmer these days. If you took a stroll down our driveway, you’d end up in the middle of his menagerie just after you crossed the creek. Sheep and lambs, an adorable sheepdog pup, a very pregnant donkey and three beef cows. Caleb added some chickens to the barnyard just this week. I’m so proud of my bros and am excited about the fresh farm products we will enjoy in the future.
The steer and donkey. I don’t think either of them have a real name. I call the donkey Ortega. It just fits.
One of the lambs.
The two heifers.
Sheepdog. He’s 9 weeks old and weighs over 40 pounds. He will be huge!
This is Mac. He’s my running/biking buddy – well, in his own way. He takes all the shortcuts and acts like it’s time to stop every ten minutes.
Daffodils already! Wow!
This is what Riata does all day long. She turns into a wild wolf at night.
John’s first experiment with lamb is in the freezer now. That is, what’s left of it is in the freezer. It’s the best lamb we have ever had. Ever. This stew recipe is the best stew John has ever had. Ever. (I think it’s because his lamb meat was in it. He’s kind of partial. :D ) It is good. And it’s easy. And it’s healthy. And it went really well with oven roasted potatoes and my homemade ketchup. ( That’s how you get taste testers working for free. ;P )
3 lbs. cubed lamb
3 cloves garlic, sliced
2 T. olive or grapeseed oil
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, cubed
1 can garbonzo beans, drained
1/2 c. green olives
1/4 c. flour
1-3 cups lamb or chicken broth
salt and pepper
Start by sauteing the lamb and the garlic in the oil until browned all around.
Add the carrots and onions.
And saute a few minutes. Add garbanzo beans and green olives. You can slice the olives if you like. We like them whole. (In other words, I’m too lazy to slice them.)
Now toss in a handful of flour and stir to coat. Add broth until you have the desired consistancy.
Serve over roasted potatoes if you like.
Okay, so there’s something about fennel…I don’t get it. I’ve tried it several times – caramelized, baked, raw, every which way. And…well, I’m just not a fan. But there’s something about it that makes me want to like it, so I try it again, and again and yet again. I still don’t like it much, but this salad was pretty good. If you like fennel… and pineapple, you’ll like this salad.
Fennel and Pineapple Salad
1 fresh pineapple, cubed
1 bulb fennel, cut into small pieces
carrot shavings, use a lemon zester for long strips
sprinkle of sea salt
a couple dashes of white balsamic vinegar
Toss it all together and serve over spring lettuce mix or baby spinach.
Stay tuned for the next Penarious challenge!